Govt concealing corona deaths; Akhilesh

| | Lucknow
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Govt concealing corona deaths; Akhilesh

Sunday, 03 May 2020 | Biswajeet Banerjee | Lucknow

In a damning accusation, Samajwadi Party president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the police were disposing of the bodies of COVID-19 patients without informing their kin in a systematic attempt to conceal the actual number of deaths due to coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh.
“The actual number of coronavirus cases is being concealed. I have definite inputs that police and officials are disposing of bodies of COVID-19 patients so that there is no spike in number. This has happened in Agra and Kanpur where the police disposed of bodies and later told their kin that the deceased were cremated,” Akhilesh Yadav told this reporter in Lucknow on Saturday.
The SP chief said that this was being done with a systematic strategy to ensure that the number of coronavirus cases did not go up.
“Instead of fighting the disease, the government is fighting to conceal COVID-19 cases. Officials are also being asked not to reveal the actual number to media,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh is home to 23 crore people and has so far reported 2,455 coronavirus positive cases with 45 deaths.
In a scathing attack, Akhilesh Yadav charged the Yogi Adityanath government with failing to control the disease and instead blaming Muslims for its spread.
“Uttar Pradesh is probably the only state where patients are being identified on the basis of religion. The government has created a separate column for (Tablighi) Jamaat members,” he said.
“Due to this partisan government attitude, fear psychosis has gripped people. The fact is, this is not an Indian-origin disease and it was brought from outside. If people from Malaysia brought this disease who gave them the visa and why were they not checked at the airport. The WHO (World Health Organisation) issued alert in January, why were no preventive steps taken. I want to ask the UP government why is it defaming a community by creating separate column for Jamaatis. What is more, the police entered Muslim households in Kanpur saying they could spread the disease,” Akhilesh claimed.
“The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is playing divisive politics by pitting Hindus against Muslims and they are blaming Muslims for coronavirus spread. This is being done with an eye on elections,” the SP chief said.
Akhilesh Yadav further said that the UP government was now realising that it did not build infrastructure in the last three years which could have given relief to the people during the present medical crisis. People are scared as not enough facility is available to them, he added.
“The feedback that I am getting is frightening. People do not have work. The government says migrant workers will be accommodated in MGNREGA projects and given food through public distribution system. But these people do not have ration cards, how will they get food. As a result, people are dying of hunger,” he said.
The SP chief said that the handling of the situation only proved that the BJP government had no vision.
“I demanded that mid-day meal system be started, but it took 30 days for the government to announce this. They have funds and resources to feed children but it was overlooked,” he said.
“The chief minister is busy holding meetings for hours every morning. What for? The officers and ministers who listen to the chief minister’s monologue should be made in-charge of districts and tehsils and asked to go to villages. If senior officers go to villages, it will galvanise lower rank officers, who are not working as they know the chief minister does not want to work,” Akhilesh said.
The SP chief even ridiculed the chief minister’s announcement of providing employment to 15 lakh people.
“The government suspended all funds of MPs and MLAs.  The dearness allowance of government employees has been stopped too. These decisions are taken because you do not have money. How will they now pay salaries to 15 lakh staff?” he asked.
“I demand that the government waive goods and services tax (GST) to boost the economy. Give some package to industry and farm sector, allow transportation of goods, motivate employees, give corona warriors some incentives etc. But I will say that the BJP government is working sans vision and planning,” Akhilesh Yadav said.

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